Monday, January 26, 2015

Postmodern Musics - Erasure

That title should probably say "sous rature" rather than erasure, since that's the word/phrase that Heidegger and Derrida used in the original. But we read an English translation which translated sous rature as "erasure" (and used it often). I bet you can't guess what musics are going to be leading us off today.

But first, it snowed last night. I try to keep an upbeat attitude about the snow, especially considering this winter hasn't been anywhere near as awful as the Arctic Death Freeze of 2014. All the same, I felt a little like this going into PoMo today:

In fact, the social significance of snow and ice was mentioned today in class, if only in passing, so my attempt to insert Gilmore Girls into my post turned out to be relevant after all.

So in case it wasn't already clear, for PoMo today we read some Derrida. We also read about intertextuality and a brief(ish) introduction to what postmodernism is. We talked about a lot of different things in class today like nihilism and meaning and language and whether social context and history and more that I don't want to get into right. But that's not why I'm writing this post. I'm writing to talk about the music that popped into my head throughout our three hour long discussion. Be warned, there were more this time than there were last week.

I know I said with my last post that I wouldn't provide lengthy explanations of why these songs came to mind, but I've decided that I'll at least provide the word or phrase that provided the trigger.

So, in order of occurrence, here goes:

Erasure -  A Little Respect 

Okay, I know I said that I won't be providing much explanation for why these songs came to my head, but I have to say that this song was a recurring theme throughout class because every time someone said the word "erasure", my brainPod hit repeat. So really this song should be on today's list 6 or 8 times.

Power - Kanye West 


Grand Illusion - Styx

"complete confusion"

It's Not Unusual - Tom Jones

"It's not unusual..."

Take My Breath Away - Berlin

"You just took her breath away."

Hazy Shade of Winter - The Bangles

"Time, time..."

Don't Know Much - Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville

"I don't know much..."

Just You Wait - Audrey Hepburn & Marni Nixon

"Oh just wait until..."

Bonus Track: Brick House - The Commodores


This song didn't pop into my head during class, but as I was doing the reading the word bricolage brought it to the fore time and again.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Postmodern Musics - Ceci n'est pas une pipe

No this isn't a post about postmodern music, but rather a post (and likely a series of posts) about the musics that pop into my head while I'm sitting, thinking, conversating, and otherwise engaging in my postmodern theory class.

I feel I need to clarify that this isn't something that is necessarily unique to PoMo (as it is affectionately called). In pretty much every class I take moment of my life, things happen (people say things, birds suddenly appear, etc.) that trigger musics to start playing in my head. In the past I've made half-hearted efforts to take note of the songs that pop into my head so that I can see which arise most frequently, but as it happened several times throughout PoMo today, I decided to make a concerted effort to pay attention to it whilst in this class throughout the semester.

So here's how this is going to go:

1) I'm just gonna list the songs. Without direct context. It's more fun that way, see. (Also I figure I can afford to check out of the class discussion for the few seconds it takes to jot down a song title, but not for the length of time it would take to note the exact context.)

2) I'm going to try and not force musical associations, but rather just let them happen naturally. (At least as naturally as is possible.)

3) I anticipate there will be times when I won't want to admit which songs popped into my head (coughcoughphysicalolivianewtonjohncough) but I'll not censor myself, no matter how shameful.

While I'll not be providing the direct context from the conversation that triggers the songs, I will try to give some sort of context from the class that day. For example, today we talked about Magritte and Foucault's reading thereof. Thus:

So, without further gilding the lily, here are the PoMo musics from the first day of school:

Physical - Olivia Newton John

I Am A Rock - Simon and Garfunkel

Changes - David Bowie

The Space Between - Dave Matthews Band

I should probably note that at one point we were talking about Zen koans and the phrase "the sound of silence" was explicitly said, but Simon and Garfunkel's classic of that name didn't come to mind until someone else in class said something about it. You'd think that since Art and Pauly had already made a foray into my mind earlier in class that an encore performance would be inevitable in such a situation. But it wasn't. So while the song did eventually find its way into my head, its presence wasn't organic so I don't list it here.